Happy Meals

Why do we love Jollibee? Is it the happy plastic mascot outside that looks like Big Boy crossed with an apple maggot? Could it be the goopy cheeseburgers, the fried chicken or the violet, boba-laden milkshakes made with the purple yam called ube? Might it be the palabok fiesta, squishy rice noodles glazed with shrimp, ground pork and fluffy fried-fish powder? Or is it just the sheer happiness involved in ordering Chickenjoy, Jolly Spaghetti and Yumburgers with cheese, which sound like formulations from the mind of George Orwell or Terry Southern? The fast-food chain, which has 500-odd outlets in the Philippines, has been resident in Cerritos for years, but the shiny, new outlet on Beverly near Vermont is its first freestanding foray into L.A. proper. You can get your ube shakes from the drive-through window. And Jollibee throws instructional Tagalog DVDs in with its kids’ meals instead of plastic Disney characters. What more could you want? Jollibee, 3821 Beverly Blvd., L.A., (323) 906-8617.

—Jonathan Gold


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